Welcome my guest, Sherri Stewart. Her book, A Friend in High Places, sounds like a delightful, surprising read.
Hi, I’m Sherri Stewart. I love writing clean novels, sprinkled with romance and a strong message that challenges your faith. I spend my working hours with books—either editing others’ manuscripts or writing my own. My passion is traveling to the settings of my books, sampling the food and visiting the sites. Sadly, my trip to Pasadena was cancelled due to COVID. I’m a recent widow and live in the Orlando area with my lazy dog, Lily, and my son, Joshua, who can fix anything. I share recipes, tidbits of my books’ locations, and pix in my monthly newsletters. Subscribe at http://eepurl.com/gZ-mv9
A Friend in High Places is my first attempt at time travel romance, which is a new genre for me. I usually write romantic suspense or historical romance. Once a year, my publisher asks for volunteers for different novella collections, so this year I signed up for a genre outside my comfort zone. And surprise, I really enjoyed writing it. And no, it isn’t sci fi, fantasy, or hocus pocus. The book is about a niece who has to clean out her aunt’s attic and discovers things about her aunt’s past that both surprise and sadden her. All the characters in the book are named after the members of my cousin, Claudia’s family. Of course, I asked for permission ahead of time.
A bit about the plot. Kelly Thomas must settle her Aunt Claudia’s estate. She stays in her aunt’s Pasadena bungalow while she plans the funeral and goes through her favorite aunt’s things. During the burial service, she notices an elderly gentleman standing next to a tall red-headed man away from the crowd of mourners, so she approaches them to introduce herself. What she discovers about the old man’s identity rocks her world apart. Aunt Claudia has always been her hero, and Kelly has modeled her life after her independent aunt. Now she’s confused. She thought her aunt’s husband had died in the war decades before. Kelly enlists the help of Chris, the young man with Mr. Collins at the cemetery, to help find the truth. They discover that a simple misunderstanding decades before led to the demise of a beautiful romance. If only she could go back to the sixties to fix it.
Each of my main characters has a bit of me in them. They are believers, but there is some issue they’re dealing with, such as grief, envy, guilt, unforgiveness, or lack of self-confidence. In this book, Kelly has grown up resenting being her parents’ second-best love. They are missionaries, working with Aids children in Nigeria. She knows they are doing God’s work, but she wants a more normal life, like that of her Aunt Claudia, with whom Kelly spent her summers in Pasadena, California, while her parents were overseas. As a child she loved going to the studio with her aunt, who worked as an assistant producer.
As a former teacher and principal at a Christian school, I often taught missionary kids (mk’s) and pastor’s kids (pk’s). Not all but many of them had issues that the other kids didn’t have to deal with—having to behave a certain way, being socially ostracized, and being left alone a lot because their parents were busy with the church. My son was the principal’s kid, so you can imagine what that was like!
I’m what’s called a plantser. That means I write a rough summary of the book beforehand, and then I write by the seat of my pants. Sometimes the book takes a glorious detour. It was a God moment when the #MeToo movement came to mind. What if Hollywood actresses and studio workers of the sixties were warned about their so-called auditions ahead of time? What if the producers were also warned about what could happen if they didn’t treat women with proper respect?
Here is the purchase link for A Friend in High Places: